The first of every year signifies a new start for all of us. It is a banner month for gyms and the diet industry as millions of us pledge to get ourselves in better shape. In business we get to wipe the slate clean and start all over again with the promise of an even better year than the one that just passed. For most companies that might mean a renewed focus on growing at a faster rate than the previous year which coincidently might involve getting in better shape as well! Here are 3 essential elements to make sure you check off your list in order to give your firm the best chance at explosive growth in the New Year.
1) Do you have a solid strategic plan for THIS YEAR? Many firms skip this step as it is viewed as busy work. Nothing could be further from the truth! It is not always the plan itself that delivers the most value but rather the planning PROCESS itself. In my blog “Planning For Growth” I covered the essential elements of a good strategic plan but he bottom line is this: if you don’t know exactly where you want to go your chances of arriving there are not as good. If you have sales people make sure they have plans for the year as well.
2) Are you chasing the right targets? Technically this should come out as part of the strategic planning process but it is so important I still listed it as a separate item. For many firms the targets are the same as they have been for the past 10 years yet the game has probably changed. Those historic targets might not still be ideal current targets. Michelangelo of all people had a great quote that applies here, “The danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss but that it is too low and we hit it.” Go through the process of clearly defining what your ideal customer looks like. Go into as much detail and specificity as you possibly can and then compare that against the customers you pursued and landed over the past year. Are they the same? If so, congratulations your sights are correctly calibrated but if not, reset your scope!
3) Can you quantify the impact of your products and/or services? One of the most overused phrases in business is “value added.” Everyone says it but few can PROVE it! To the extent you can clearly demonstrate and quantify the financial impact or “value” of your products or services above what your competition can offer you will consistently win the day. If you can prove the financial impact in your clients business you will win but if you can prove how your products and services impact you client’s CUSTOMER’S business then NOW you’re adding real value.
These three simple yet essential elements of creating sustainable growth may seem like common sense at first glance but common sense is definitely NOT common practice. Institute these essential items on a consistent basis and you will be in elite (and consistently growing) company.